Becoming a Student / Private Sessions

If you have developed a stable daily meditation practice, it’s possible to become a student at Mountain Cloud by taking the following steps…

Attend enough sits and events to feel clearly that Mountain Cloud is a community and place where you’d like to practice. (During the covid lockdown please attend our online events).

Attend several of our “introduction to meditation” classes.

Listen and watch these introductory talks (podcasts and videos) recorded by Henry.

Attend at least two multi day retreats (5 days or longer each). During the covid-19 lockdown, attend at least four virtual retreats.

Read the Guidelines for Members written by Henry.

Become a member of Mountain Cloud. Click here for details.

Read some of our recommended books:

  • Zen: the Authentic Gate, Yamada Koun
  • Three Pillars of Zen, Philip Kapleau
  • Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki
  • Mindfulness in Plain English, Bhante Gunaratana

Private Interviews / Dokusan for Students

Henry is not currently taking any new students or offering dokusan or counseling sessions.

Valerie Forstman is taking a limited number of new students. If you are interested in working with Valerie, please completed some of the suggested readings and classes, then contact (email) her to introduce yourself and set up a private interview. When you email her, introduce yourself and briefly tell her about your practice and interest.

Email her at

After you have one or more private sessions, you and Valerie will decide if you want to work together as teacher / student. Once this happens, you are eligible for Dokusan (10-min sessions) and access to our automated scheduling system.

Please contact our administrator to gain access to this online scheduling system once approved by Valerie

Private Practice – Extended Interviews

If you would like an extended interview with Valerie about your practice and spiritual journey, she is available for spiritual practice sessions and for dokusan. Practice sessions are typically 30-55 minutes long and are available via skype, zoom, FaceTime, Whatsapp and phone. There is a fee based on a flexible sliding scale, we want to make these sessions affordable for all regardless of financial means.

Contact Valerie directly for scheduling:

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You can show your gratitude for Mountain Cloud events, retreats, podcasts and other teachings by making a one-time gift, or by becoming a supporting member.

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